Although World Health Day is technically April 7, there’s no reason not to keep the good health vibes going all month long – and by extension, all year! The World Health Organization held the first World Health Assembly in 1948 and sanctioned April 7 as World Health Day effective in 1950. World Health Day honors WHO’s founding and provides an opportunity by the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health, with international, regional and local events related to a particular theme.
The theme of World Health Day 2013 focuses on controlling hypertension, or high blood pressure, which WHO calls a “silent killer, global public health crisis.” Both preventable and treatable, hypertension contributes to many cases of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure worldwide, according to WHO, and WHO estimates one in three adults over 25 has elevated blood pressure, or about a billion people the world over.
According to WHO’s website, some specific objectives of the World Health Day 2013 campaign are to:
- raise awareness of the causes and consequences of high blood pressure
- provide information on how to prevent high blood pressure and related complications
- encourage adults to check their blood pressure and follow the advice of healthcare professionals
- encourage self care to prevent high blood pressure
- to make blood pressure measurement affordable to all
- to incite national and local authorities to create enabling environments for healthy behaviors
Following a healthy diet, getting enough exercise and rest and losing weight are all great ways to lower an elevated blood pressure or maintain a healthy one. Generally, lowering sodium intake and maintaining low levels of stress are particularly helpful when it comes to relieving hypertension.
Get more information on hypertension and other global health concerns here.